Teach Your Teen to Spend Smarter

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(NewsUSA) - If you are a parent with teenagers, you've probably had more than one conversation with them about money, especially in today's economy. Likely, these talks have revolved around them asking for more money than you wish or can afford to give right now. Although it may seem impossible, teens can learn to manage their own money with a little discipline and guidance from mom and dad.

To make money-management conversations easier for parents who may be struggling themselves, Discover Card offers some tips:

- Show Them the Money. Depending upon your comfort level, you may want to offer your teens a look at some of the household bills. This will give them a clearer view of exactly how much things cost. Since many teens are in the habit of asking for money from their parents without understanding exactly how much all of those movies and clothes actually cost -- and how they fit into the family budget -- try keeping track of their expenses for a month. Have your teen tally up things such as movies, clothes, video games, and cell phones to show them exactly how much they are spending.

- Wants Versus Needs. Sit down with your teen, and help them separate their wants from their needs. Then, decide how much money you will contribute for their needs each month. Providing teens with a set amount of money for discretionary spending forces them to prioritize their purchases. One easy way to provide this cash to your teen is with Current Card by Discover, an innovative debit card that helps teens manage their spending and keep their money safe.

- A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned. Encourage your teen to save for big-ticket items they may want, such as a cell phone or a senior trip. If you are willing to contribute to the cost, explain exactly how much you will put in, and ask them to save for the rest. Be sure to make it clear that you will not increase your contribution if they cannot come up with their share of the cost, and help them set up a savings account, if necessary.

- Set the Record Straight. Have your teen keep a close record of how much money they spend and where. The Current Card makes this easy by allowing parents and teens to track spending activity online or through e-mail and text message alerts. Financial literacy information is also available to teach teens how to create and manage a budget.

To learn about more ways to help your teen spend smart and save more, visit www.CurrentbyDiscover.com.

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Teach Your Teen to Spend Smarter

Giving your teenager a debit card can help them learn to manage their bank account.

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Word Count: 429
Article Date: February 25, 2009

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